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New Helipad Improves Community Safety in Grimes County, Texas

October 20, 2015

Bristow joined members of the Whitehall Community Volunteer Fire Department at their annual barbecue fundraiser October 18, 2015, to mark the completion of a new medevac helipad to serve the residents of Grimes County, Texas. The helipad, which was built in part by a donation through Bristow Uplift in 2014, is the first-ever dedicated LifeFlight landing zone for motor vehicle accidents and other trauma-related medevac events in the area.

"As a global helicopter search and rescue provider, we understand the importance of a safe landing zone and the role that it plays in an emergency when every minute counts," said Director of Information Security, Risk & Compliance and Bristow Uplift Corporate Committee Chair Bobby Joseph. "Safety is our number one core value and we are honored to contribute to this project to improve safety in our community and help save lives."

The newly-constructed 50-by-50-foot concrete helipad located on the northeast corner of the department's recently-built fire station provides a safe, centrally-located, 24-hour landing zone for emergency services and operators in the area, including fire fighters, paramedics and other medevac personnel. It also serves as an important landing area for helicopters to re-fuel during prolonged fire-fighting events, eliminating the need for helicopters to fly to fueling sites as far away as Conroe and College Station, Texas, and keeping the aircraft on scene at the most critical times.

The helipad is a welcome safety improvement for the Whitehall Community Volunteer Fire Department, which has the responsibility for handling structural fires, haz-mat incidents, multi-county wild land fires and setting LifeFlight landing zones for medevac events. Previously, the fire department needed to shut down traffic on country roads or state highways to create a safe landing zone for the incoming helicopter, a time-consuming process that could lead to the loss life during helicopter evacuations.

"This project would not have happened without Bristow's support," said Fire Chief Freeman Vickers. "Our department proudly displays the Bristow logo in the center of our helipad in recognition of the company's commitment to the safety of all those engaged in aero medical patient care. This added level of safety, made possible by the Bristow, for the flight crews, patients and the EMS and fire service personnel cannot be over stated."